The Department of Public Health has confirmed the second detection of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Massachusetts Mosquitos.
The virus better known as EEE (Triple E) was confirmed by the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory in a sample collected on July 5 from Wendell in Franklin County.
The finding increased the risk level in the Wendell and New Salem communities to moderate. No human or animal case of the virus has been detected, so far.
“We are seeing EEE activity in mosquitoes very early in the season,’’ said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “We will continue to conduct additional surveillance, including trapping and testing mosquitoes in the region over the next several weeks to better inform our guidance to local communities.”
The potentially fatal disease can affect people of all ages and is generally spread through humans by a mosquito bite.
There were 12 human cases of EEE in 2019 in the Commonwealth with six deaths. There were also nine cases in domestic animals.
“This second early finding reinforces our concern about EEE activity this season,” said State Epidemiologist, Dr. Catherine Brown. “We urge all Massachusetts residents to be aware of the risks associated with mosquito bites and to take precautions against being bitten.”